Where else to start but this incredible entertainer? Altior, ridden by Nico de Boinville, has already triumphed at four consecutive Cheltenham Festivals and set the jumping world record with 19 wins in a row in April last year.
He then lost to Cyrname at the Christy 1965 Chase, but is still being heavily backed to reignite another winning run and you can see how most bookmakers back the bay gelding on horse racing tips for today.
Altior is one of the greatest horses of recent time – if not ever – but adding the Gold Cup will ensure the bay gelding goes down in history.
Taking the name of what all punters attempt to do before a race, Carefully Selected could well enter the RSA Chase at Cheltenham with the step up in trip unlikely to cause any problems.
Though racing only twice last season due to ground conditions, Carefully Selected was backed heavily two seasons ago after being pipped at the post in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham. In decent conditions, Carefully Selected is an obvious choice and can quickly make up for lost time.
Coming out of nowhere, Lisnagar Oscar is also likely to be a contender for the RSA Chase. The novice hurdle ranks proved to be no obstacle for Sean Bowen with a Grade 2 victory at Haydock and third place in a Grade 1 at Aintree.
Having come up just short in his chase debut in early October – after winning for most of the ride – the bay gelding will be hungry for early success.
Everyone loves an opening day victory at Cheltenham so when Klassical Dream provided such a boost at last year’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, it left the horse hitting the headlines.
A routine victory followed at the Punchestown Festival and now it appears as though Paul Townend is heading for the Champion Hurdle – particularly as last year’s winner Espoir D’Allen is no longer with us.
A winner in last season’s Cheltenham Champion Bumper, Envoi Allen has been making waves on both sides of the Irish Sea. And, although he could quite easily be the Irish banker in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle on the opening day, the Ballymore may well be the bay gelding’s target.
Envoi Allen’s recent victory in the Lawlor’s of Naas Novice Hurdle stretched the horse’s winning run to seven. And, he could certainly extend that in March.